Why LGBT Foundation Chose Not To Do An ICO And Launch A Token on OST Instead

Sean Howell, Co-Founder Buffalo Market
Published in
6 min readOct 25, 2018


Hi, by way of introduction I’m Sean Howell CEO of the LGBT Foundation. I’m pleased to write a guest post on OST’s Medium account on why LGBTF chose to partner with OST rather than continuing to pursue our own ICO.

The LGBT Foundation, which aims to harness blockchain technology for the benefit of the global LGBT community, is preparing to launch the LGBT Token in 2019. The LGBT Token’s mission is to bring crypto to the global pink economy in order to leverage the underserved $4.6 trillion USD LGBT market worldwide for the benefit of the community.

Why choose the OST platform over an ICO?

The OST platform offers us the ability to launch a unique token, in our case the LGBT Token, securely. It also allows us to avoid the headache of setting up our own complex blockchain infrastructure and meeting the regulatory requirements and costs that go along with launching an ICO. We found OST to be far ahead of the industry in developing simple blockchain tools for non-blockchain developers. OST provides us with easy interfaces and APIs for minting our token, setting up smart contracts, integrating token transfers into our partner apps, as well as SDKs for providing easy to use yet safe and secure end-user wallets. OST is also working on a wide range of redemption options to enable people earning or receiving LGBT Tokens to convert them into other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies or equivalents.

With the value of LGBT Token staked in OST, we also see a huge benefit down the line in having a more stable price for our Token as the price of OST becomes stable through its wide use spanning hundreds of millions of users across their Partner Companies. This stability will be further complemented by additional price stabilization mechanisms as set out in their detailed roadmap. Additional benefits of doing this with OST include working with an expert team, launching on a more proven platform, and joining a token economy ecosystem rather than building yet again another competing currency.

At first glance, an ICO can seem like a great way to boost non-dilutive capitalization for a project and secure growth and adoption of a token. Of the countless ICOs, this rosy story has worked often to the detriment of the crypto industry, racing up speculation and more recently seeing most alt-coins losing value for their investors.

The LGBT Foundation is designed to benefit the community and an ICO likely would have received massive support from LGBT community and allies. However, with the mission in mind of serving that community, we decided that encouraging the community to take such a speculative risk by investing in our own ICO would’ve been against our core values.

While the initial capital of an ICO is attractive, at the root of any credible cryptocurrency is what utility it offers the community. The LGBT Token on the OST platform will activate the $4.6 trillion global LGBT+ economy, enabling members to assert and protect their LGBT+ identity, creating a new medium of exchange and loyalty for LGBT+ persons and businesses. It will make a social impact globally by allocating resources to projects that the LGBT+ community cares about, including tackling oppression, discrimination, and inequality, education, and healthcare.

The LGBT Foundation will drive the adoption of the LGBT Token as a method of payment in everyday transactions for businesses both digital and physical. To jumpstart this, Hornet Networks, the sponsor of the LGBT Foundation, will adopt the Token among its 25m users — some 10% of the LGBT community worldwide — and accept the LGBT Token as a means of payment for its services. In order to ensure compliance and security of its future users, the LGBT Foundation will depart from the conventional approach of a public token sale ahead of its platform launch. LGBT Foundation will instead focus on readying its infrastructure to ensure acceptance of its tokens (LGBT Tokens launched on OST) as a regular form of payment for goods and services at launch. Our goal is to make LGBT Token the preferred method of payment and identity for LGBT persons worldwide.

Hornet as the first use case of the LGBT Token

Christof Wittig, CEO at Hornet has said: “Along with Hornet other LGBT Token launch partners will be the first vendors to accept LGBT Tokens as payment and bring our total reach to over 100 million potential users. With every adoption of the LGBT Token, we grow today’s USD $100M market of LGBT apps and services into a much larger visible economy that knows no borders and respects each member’s right to their sexual identity.”

Choosing the OST route allows us to launch the LGBT Token backed on a platform others already know and trust. It also puts us in compliance with the changing regulatory environment and the foundation works to stay in compliance.

Prior to choosing OST as our partner, LGBTF invested over $1 million USD dollars in exploring the launch of our own ICO Token. Even after spending that money (on lawyers, advisors, consultants, and papers) ultimately, OST proved a much better yield for the Foundation, future token holders, and building the cryptocurrency community and wider global adoption. Given the partnership with Hornet, this aspect is more relevant because of the wide reach and additional support that the users of Hornet will add to OST.

An important factor for us was that the team and expertise of OST was a good fit for Hornet. We’ve been very impressed with the team Jason Goldberg has put together for OST. From the technology team to the commercial team, and the implementation consultants we work very closely with, the OST team has been a true partner to us, helping us plan the token economy and the technology integrations.

We are really bullish on the potential of blockchain to help build a fair, rewarding, open economy and community of trust within Hornet + LGBT Token. Our plan is to first launch a pilot program on Hornet early next year and then to roll out the use of tokens more broadly in the token economy on Hornet and to bring on many partners across the LGBT community.

Since Hornet + LGBT Token is fairly big and growing fast (compared to most emerging blockchain apps), we’ve been carefully planning our blockchain implementation and getting it “right” not just fast. Working with a team like OST is critical. Beyond launching a token the planning of the economy, as well as innumerable product integration planning, as well as transaction apps for additional partners, are areas OST has built considerable resources around.

In terms of technical integration, we recently participated in the OST KIT mainnet alpha and it was simple, easy, and painless. Within a matter of minutes we were able to set up the Hornet + LGBT Token economy, mint the LGBT Token token, setup various test actions, and simulate some token transfer events all on Ethereum mainnet. You can see our proof of concept video here:

Ultimately we want to rollout LGBT Token well beyond Hornet and make it the de facto payment option for LGBT businesses and services worldwide, and an empowerment vehicle for the LGBT community.

Sean Howell is the CEO of the LGBT Foundation an Co-Founder of Hornet Networks.

About LGBT Foundation
The LGBT Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with the mission to create the LGBT Token cryptocurrency and utilize blockchain technology to achieve equal rights and acceptance for all. The Foundation entered into a partnership with OST earlier this year to launch the LGBT Token leveraging OST technology. The LGBT Impact branch of the Foundation will give back to the community by supporting causes and organizations that aim to advance the rights of the LGBT community around the world.



Sean Howell, Co-Founder Buffalo Market

Using technology to fight for equality for all, co-founder Buffalomarket.com & Hornet.com @LGBT_Token @Hornet @JohnsHopkinsSPH @buffalomarketco